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Are you interested in a possible career as a professional genealogist? Want to learn how the pros approach genealogy research or tackle tough ethical situations? The APG's live webinars are open free to the public. Registration information for our upcoming webinars is included below.

Missed a webinar? Recordings of five+ years of past webinars are available to APG members as a benefit of membership. We would love to have you join us!


Event Details
Monday, August 19, 2019
8:00p.m. EDT

Charging For Your Time and Expertise
Presenter: Melissa Johnson, CG®

Registration required:

How should I charge my clients? How do I determine my rates? Which expenses are billable? Should I spend my time researching, writing, or teaching? Do I handle administrative tasks myself or contract them out? How do I know if my business is profitable? Can I make a living as a professional genealogist? Learn the answers to these questions and more, and discover how to build a profitable genealogy business or improve your existing operations.

About the Presenter: Melissa Johnson, CG®, is a New Jersey-based professional genealogist specializing in researching families with roots in New Jersey, New York City, Pennsylvania, and the British Isles. She is proficient in using DNA in genealogical research to solve brick walls and identify unknown parentage. Melissa operates the New Jersey Family History Institute, is on the faculty of the Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate Program, and teaches at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research. Her work has been published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, New York Genealogical & Biographical Record, Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, NGS Monthly, the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, NGS Magazine, and other publications.

Monday, September 16, 2019
8:00p.m. EDT

Subcontracting: Communication & Contracts
Presenter: Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG®, CGLSM

Registration required:

Most genealogical researchers will find a time when they cannot travel to an area to research or find it more effective to use the experience of other locally-based researchers. Sometimes these collaborations are rewarding, and sometimes frustrating. This lecture discusses how genealogists and genealogical subcontractors can enhance their communication through the use of contracts, and expand their business. We will discuss balancing the needs of both the contractor and the contractee when genealogical research is hired. A sample contract will be introduced and discussed section by section and how it fosters better communication.

About the Presenter: Rebecca Whitman Koford holds credentials as a Certified Genealogist® and Certified Genealogical LecturerSM. She focuses on Maryland and military records at the National Archives, especially those of the War of 1812. Rebecca has been taking clients and lecturing since 2004. She has spoken for the National Genealogical Society Conference (NGS), Association of Professional Genealogists Conference (APG), RootsTech, Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), the Maryland State Archives, and webinars for Legacy and APG. Rebecca has published articles in the NGS Magazine, APG Magazine, SAR Magazine, and the Maryland Genealogical Society Journal. Rebecca is also the Course I coordinator for The Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR). She is a former board member of the Maryland Genealogical Society. She is a graduate and former group coordinator and mentor of the ProGen Study Group, an online peer-led study program based on the book Professional Genealogy by Elizabeth Shown Mills; she was appointed ProGen Administrator in January 2015. She has recently been appointed as the Executive Director of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, July 2018. Rebecca lives in Mount Airy and volunteers at the Family History Center in Frederick, Maryland.

Monday, October 21, 2019
2:00p.m. EDT

When Discoveries Are Dynamite: Dealing with Sensitive Information and Difficult Cases
Presenter: Jane Harris

Registration required:

The popularity of DNA testing in recent years has made difficult conversations more common but sensitive information is by no means a new phenomenon. Birth, marriage and death records, or sometimes the lack of them, are storehouses of potentially sensitive information. So step aside for a moment and let’s think about these situations. Actually what is sensitive information? Is it the same for everyone, including genealogists? How do we handle the delivery of such information, particularly when communication may be all via email? We’ll also look at professional standards and what we can do to prepare the ground.

About the Presenter: Jane Harris is a professional genealogist, based in Stirling, Scotland. Growing up in the Orkney islands with swathes of relations roundabout, she has always had some interest in family history. Research on her own family history and a growing weariness with work in university student services and projects, led her to study for the University of Strathclyde’s Postgraduate Diploma in Genealogical Studies. In 2012 Janealogy took on her first paying clients. Her focus is on Scottish research and she particularly enjoys Stirlingshire and Orkney work. She is an active member of the Scottish Genealogy Network and has done research for Finding your Roots.

Monday, November 18, 2019
8:00p.m. EST

Writing for the APGQ (and Other Worthy Publications)
Presenter: Mary Penner, CG®

Registration required:

Do you think only professional writers see their handiwork in genealogical publications? Think again. The genealogy world has many fine writers yet most of them don't consider themselves professional writers. Writing and publishing are just more rungs in the steep ladder of genealogical skills we strive to have. Think about it—you surely have an idea or a habit or a skill or an experience that you should share with your fellow pros. You, too, can be a published author (and get paid for it). APGQ Managing Editor Mary Penner will cover all you need to know about getting published in our member journal.

About the Presenter: Mary Penner, CG®, is the Managing Editor of the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. She also edited the scholarly journal of the New Mexico Genealogical Society. A professional genealogist, writer, and editor, Mary has published more than 200 articles about genealogical research, and her biography of a WWII Pearl Harbor survivor and submarine sailor won first place in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards competition. Mary has served on the APG board of directors and was honored to receive the Grahame T. Smallwood Award of Merit for her service to APG. She holds an MA in Education from the University of New Mexico and a BA in English from California State University-Long Beach. She's a former college and high school English teacher.

Monday, December 16, 2019
8:00p.m. EST

Contracts for the Practical, Ethical, Professional Genealogist
Presenter: Michael S. Ramage, J.D., CG®

Registration required:

Do you wonder what form of contracts will work for your genealogy business? Are you worried about the legal and ethical implications of your contract? Want to learn what types of contracts and clauses will work without scaring away potential clients? Learn about these issues and be the among the first to receive an ethical, practical flat fee contract form with explanations from the author.

About the Presenter: Michael S. Ramage, J.D., CG®, is a full-time forensic genealogist, author, lecturer and expert witness. Mr. Ramage has served as a Trustee, officer and now General Counsel of BCG since 2010. His 25-year law practice included drafting contracts and contract litigation. He has taught numerous genealogy courses at genealogy conferences and institutes around the country. His related publications include the "Forensic Specialization" and "Ethical Considerations" chapters, and contract forms, in Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards, Elizabeth Shown Mills, editor (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2018).

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